Korea’s suicide rate fell in 2016 from a year earlier, with North Chungchung Province showing the highest suicide rate and Seoul, the lowest, government data showed.
According to the 2018 Suicide Prevention White Paper, published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Suicide Prevention Center on Monday, 25.6 people out of 100,000 took their own lives in 2016, a slight fall from 26.5 per 100,000 in 2015. The suicide rate has been declining since 2011.
The number of suicide deaths decreased by 421 in 2016, compared to the previous year.
By age group, however, suicide rates in teens and 20-somethings rose, while those in other age groups dropped in 2016. The suicide rate of people in their 70s has notably fallen.
People aged from 10 to 40 killed themselves due to psychological difficulties, and those from 41 to 50, due to economic problems. Suicide motives for people from 51 to 60 were psychological difficulties, and those over 61, physical challenges, the paper showed.
By region, Seoul had the lowest suicide rate at 19.8 per 100,000 people in 2016, and North Chungcheong Province, the highest at 27.5.
Gangwon Province had the steepest fall in suicide rates by 12.2 percentage points in 2016 compared to 2015, and Sejong, the administrative capital, the fastest increase by 17.8 percentage points.
“Through the White Paper, we are helping regional working-level officials to identify suicides and characteristics quickly. We will make continued efforts to invigorate suicide prevention projects based on facts,” said Han Chang-su, head of the Korea Suicide Prevention Center.
The ministry announced in January that the government aimed to lower the suicide rate to 17 per 100,000 by 2022.
The Korea Suicide Prevention Center publishes the Suicide Prevention White Paper annually to make data-based policies.
The 2018 edition contains statistics of the cause of deaths, suicide deaths among unnatural deaths, analyzed data of National Emergency Department Information System (NEDIS) at National Emergency Medical Center, a national health and nutrition survey, a social integration survey, an online survey on youth’s health and behavior, and a survey on human rights of children and youth.
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